Dorothy, ‘Dot’ Flebbe took just five sick days during her 52-year career with Underwriters on Ellis Street in Penticton.
On Thursday, July 7, Flebbe spent his last day enjoying the company of his colleagues and reminiscing over more than half a century with the same company and working with three generations of Jamiesons, including Neil.
“It’s a happy day and a sad day,” Flebbe said surrounded by flowers, gifts, balloons and retirement posters in her office.
Dot began her insurance career in her twenties when Underwriters was then called Cumming and Jamieson, working first with Sr. Jaimeson and then Neil Jamieson. Back then, they used a typewriter to write insurance. The typewriter is still used to this day for special reports.
Now Neil’s son works there, so Flebbe likes to call it the 3 generations of Jamieson.
“When it was Cumming Jamieson, it was a two-girl office,” Flebbe said. “The underwriters bought it, but Cummings and Jamieson were there. And then Neil came along and we had two generations of Jamiesons.
“So it’s loyalty to family,” Flebbe said of why she’s been with the company for so long.
Neil asked Dot to join all of his community endeavors including the Panthers, the Hockey Hall of Fame and his beloved Penticton Vees.
“He asked me to sell tickets to games and take minutes at meetings,” she said. “It was a lot of fun over the years.”
One day, Neil and Dot were walking out of a Vees game on a particularly freezing night and Flebbe slipped, landing right in her face, pulling her teeth and hurting her side.
“Neil had his hands in his pockets so he couldn’t grab it,” said one of the Underwriters staff.
Flebbe went to the hospital and had x-rays taken and given a sling.
Black and blue, and swollen, of course, she showed up for work the next day. Everyone told her to go home but she insisted on staying.
“I was writing with my hand in a sling,” she recalls. “The doctor at the hospital called me and said ‘we misread the x-rays. You have a broken arm.
Over the years, Flebbe has garnered many loyal customers who requested Dot and made up for it while they got their insurance.
So what will she do during her retirement?
” I do not really know ! My kids and grandkids are coming to visit, so I can’t wait to be there,” she said.